The first email from Alisa Martin seemed ripe enough for some fun:
I found your blog (http://blog.simplejustice.us/) quite interesting and therefore am interested in guest blogging. I have quality and unique posts on topics like “Law”,”Legal Service”,”Legal Advice” etc.
I have the skill to research and write on lots of different topics. My posts should really resonate well with your readers.
If you are interested in getting an article from me, I would like to know the format in which I need to send the post (HTML, text, or Microsoft Word). If you have any questions, please let me know.
N.B:- It would be great if I could get a by-line which would include a link to the site for which I regularly blog on.
Alisa Martin Freelance Writer & Blogger
I couldn’t resist, so I responded:
Wow Alisa. You sound like a great writer who is very familiar with the sort of content on my blog. You must have really researched thoroughly to find me. I’m very impressed.
I’ll tell you what I can do. Why don’t you prepare an original post (I would never use a post that appears anywhere else) on a topic that would be of interest to my readers and I will decide whether it’s of sufficient quality to post on blog. If it is, I will be more than happy to give you a byline including a link to the site where you regularly blog. Unless it’s a site involving ponies, as that space is already taken up by another law blogger and I would hate to step on his toes.
By the way, what site would that be, since I would love to read more of your work.
She was certainly accommodating.
Thanks for your reply.
I am blog for “[buncha lawyers in Thailand dot com]” this site. You can check my previous posts here:
[three links to really awful, stupid, spammy, (did I mention awful?) posts]
and please let me know your opinion as early as possible. I am waiting for your positive reply.
While I could quibble over the impersonal “hello friend,” that just seems disingenuous under the circumstances. Instead, I replied:
You really have done some great stuff. And many of my readers will definitely be interested in legal services in Phuket, Thailand. I would certainly be interested in seeing what you can do since you obviously are “a proficient writer who has vast knowledge on law,” as Dallas, Texas lawyer Bob Kraft said.
So please send me a post of about 1000 words on the subject of the validity of search warrants authorizing the use of digital means to locate and seize narcotics. I would need to get it by the end of business today.
This is very exciting. I can’t wait to see what you come up with, and if it’s of the same quality as your other work, I will definitely consider posting it.
Now granted, my requested subject is a bit of a tricky one, that likely doesn’t translate well, but hey, she asked. And this arrived:
Thanks for your reply.
I have attached my content for your site. Please check this content and add in your site as soon as possible. I am waiting for your reply.
Attached was this “guest post” by “proficient” writer Alisa Martin. Sadly, she missed the nuance of my request, so I felt constrained to tell her:
Thank you. The only problem is that you misunderstood what I was looking for. I was not asking about “digital devices,” but digital searches, meaning the use of digits, or fingers, where they are inserted in a suspect’s rectum in search of hidden narcotics.
I admit, I was kinda gleeful at the prosect of what might be coming my way. But the joke was on me. It wasn’t to be.
Thanks for the clarification about the subject. However, the article I have given you has been written according to the subject you had provided me initially. As I am not a professional lawyer, it was not possible for me to understand the inner meaning behind the subject. My knowledge about law is acquired by reading online articles related to various fields of law. Anyways, from your reply it is clear that you have a deeper understanding of the subject you provided me. So, I think you can certainly come up with a better article yourself.
Of course, but your article, Alisa, had you just taken it a step farther, could have ended up being remarkably funny, and would have made it very special to me. Yet, she did provide me with an article, which took some effort. She did work, and I no longer felt particularly witty.
I understand. Thank you for your effort and you are certainly a proficient writer.
And so it ends. The least I could do for Alisa is let her efforts be seen so they wouldn’t be completely in vain. Alisa’s post may have been awful, sure, but she did as I asked her and kept her part of the bargain. For all that is wrong and bad about the guest post scam, somehow I ended up feeling like the heel in all this.